Ants in the Pantry? Here’s How to Banish These Pests from Your Home


It’s all too common for homes to get invaded by tiny ants. It starts with just one on your kitchen counter or lurking in a cabinet—but then that one ant turns into many more. Suddenly, before you know it, you have an ant problem on your hands.

Although collectively referred to as “sugar ants,” these pests can actually be several different species of ants. The types that usually show up in pantries are most commonly black ants and pharaoh ants since they are most attracted to sweet things, like sugar. There are also thief ants, which tend to like greasy foods. Then, there are pavement ants, who go for both sweet and greasy food. 

No matter the species, it’s important to take care of ants problems in your home because they can contaminate your food and spread salmonella as well. The good news is that there are several strategies and methods you can utilize that can help eliminate and prevent ants from taking up residence in your home and pantry.

Step #1: Find the Colony

One of the first steps you want to take to in order to banish ants from your kitchen and home is to find their entry point on how they’re making their way inside your home. All you need to do is observe the ants as they march along. Usually, ants enter through cracks and holes by windows and doorways. Sometimes they even come through cabinets that that may be mounted on exterior walls that have small holes or cracks in them. In cases like this, it’s best to caulk surrounding windows and doors that lead outside. 

Step #2: Eliminate the Ant Trail

Once you know where the ants are coming from, you will be able to close off that access point by sealing your windows or doors or patching any holes. You will also want to disrupt the ant’s trail. Ants are able to find their way to their colony by following the pheromones that are laid down by previous ants on the same trail.

You can eliminate this pheromone trail by using an ammonia-based product, such as a glass cleaner. Ammonia is helpful because it’s strong enough to wipe away the pheromone scent completely. After that, the ants won’t be able to find their way back to the colony or their food source—or your pantry.

Step #3: Destroy the Nest

When you find the ants’ trail, you can then follow it back to the nest. The nest is the home base of the ants’ colony, so it’s crucial to find out where it’s hiding. If located outside, use a pesticide or other insecticide to kill the nest completely. If the nest is inside, like in a wall or cabinet, you can use a non-toxic substance that won’t harm people or pets.

Step #4: Try Food Storage Solutions

One of the best ways to banish ants is to remove the reason they are in your house in the first place, which is usually easy access to a food source. You want to make sure that you are storing all your food items in air-tight containers. When putting away groceries, remove items from their cardboard boxes or thin packaging and place them in sealed plastic or glass containers instead.

Anything that can be refrigerated should be placed in the refrigerator as well. Never leave loosely sealed packages out in the open, either. If ants can’t find a food source in your pantry, then they will quickly move on.

Step #5: Use Natural Deterrents

You can also use natural deterrents that work to keep ants away. Try placing bay leaves in the spots that you’ve noticed ants the most, including in cabinets and in the pantry. You can even place a few bay leaves under the refrigerator or near entry points as well. Another natural deterrent is baking soda, which you can place in shallow containers and leave next to windows or in cabinets to deter ants from invading your home.

Step #6: Keep Things Clean

Another strategy for banishing ants is making sure you are your keeping your home clean—and especially the kitchen. To start, make sure you always clean up after preparing food, cooking, or even just grabbing a quick snack. Be sure that you never leave behind any crumbs or leave foods out in the open, including fruits like apples and bananas. 

If you accidentally spill anything, then make sure you clean that up with the right cleaners since even the residue of sugary drinks can attract ants. You can use regular household cleaners, but non-toxic options like vinegar can be an excellent disinfectant. The best part? Ants are naturally repelled by vinegar and do their best to stay away from it.

Step #7: Call A Professional

If you’ve done all you could to banish ants from your home and still haven’t been able to completely solve the problem, then it’s time to turn to the professionals at Joshua’s Pest Control. Pest control experts have special expertise when it comes to identifying ant colonies around the home so that they can end your ant invasion once and for all!


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